Phil's RP System

What is this?

This is the RP system developed by Phil for use in RPs on the message board -- it is not the "official" system, nor is it necessary to use any system while RPing -- it is, however, one system that can be used to ensure that characters' stats are not grossly incompatible as they are wont to be when everyone makes their own system to use.  Use of this system or any other is up to the creator of the RP.  -- Rydia

Table of Contents
  1. Character Stats
  2. Beginning
  3. Let's Get Move
  4. XP?  What?
  5. Those are cool numbers!  What do I do with them?
  6. Cool, but how do I practice?
  7. So how's it work?
  8. But magic sucks! I wanna use weapons!
  9. WOOHOO!  L375 D00 B4773L!!!!!11111
  10. Why wasn't there any magic?
  11. Weapons, armor, and skills tables
  12. Table explanations

If you're already familiar with the system, character stats are kept here.

Let’s start from the beginning – creating a character.

There are 9 basic attributes to every character.  Here’s what they are.  The following are graded on a scale of –5 to +10, -5 being deplorable and +10 being awesomely awesome

A more detailed description of what exactly each stat and number means can be found here.

Now that you know what the attributes mean, you must divide a total of 21 points between the 9 attributes.  Bear in mind that Magic Apt. Cannot go below 0, but you gain points back for taking negative attributes.  I’ll create an example character...using our very own Jak Snide.  The stats will be improvised, so I’m not sure if this is what we agreed on earlier.  This is just an example.

Name: Jak Snide
Level: 1
    Courage: +4
    Wisdom: +5
    Intuition: +2
    Charisma: -2
    Agility: +1
    Dexterity: +2
    Strength: +1
    Stamina: +2
    Magic: 6
Notice that there was no class listed.  That’s because this game doesn’t use classes.  That means if you suddenly change clothing, you won’t lose your abilities you earned previously.  Yes, I am making fun of Final Fantasy.

Also, these values are not etched in stone.  With every level gained, you are given two attempts to increase an attribute by +1, and you must select one as primary and the other as secondary.

Primary – Chance to increase = 100% minus (the score to be increased)*5%.  Increasing scores of zero using the primary always succeeds.  For example, Jak could increase Dexterity (+2)on 90% (a roll of 3 or better on a 20 sided die).
Secondary – Chance = 50% - score*5%.  You may increase a score by two points using both of these.

However, please note that Magic cannot be increased this way.  There are other ways of doing it, but they are considerably more difficult that simply gaining XP.

XP is the abbreviation I use for Experience points.  Unlike Final Fantasy, there are no absolute XP values given for monsters.  The gamemaster (the one in control of the whole seat of the pants operation)  gives out XP awards based on the difficulty of the encounter he threw at the players, and also their resourcefulness in resolving it.  Talking the enemy out of attacking you may be worth more than killing it, for example.  This encourages the players to do more than simply “beat that ass.”  However, in order for this system to work, the gamemaster should not be an XP Nazi.

Here are the XP required to gain levels.  The XP count resets after the level is gained (getting to level 3 from 2 is harder than getting to 2 from 1.

Lvl 2
Lvl 3
Lvl 4
Lvl 5
Lvl 6
Lvl 7
Lvl 8

Attributes aren’t the only things that improve with level.  You can gain HP, mana, skill ranks, possibly even new spells/special attacks.  I’ll explain those later, though.

Now that you’ve got your attributes and all, you can use them to calculate your vital statistics.

· HP – The amount of punishment you can take.  You’re down if you hit 0, and dead if you hit negative (10+STA).  You start with an amount of HP equal to 55+STA*5.

· Mana – The amount of magic you can throw around before cutting into your HP to cast.  If you hit zero, the spells you cast consume HP instead of mana.  Mana is fully restored after a day's rest; however, if you need mana on the spot, there are always potions.  You start with MAG*10+INT*5+WIS*5. · TP– Points for inherent skills.  Level One characters start with 20 TP, and 4-6 are gained each level (how many are decided by the GM).

· Initiative – Your reaction time.  Every time you enter combat, this dictates when you get to go.  Your initiative = AGI+COU+2d6 (two six-sided dice).

· Attack power – determined by the weapon you’re using and your strength.  A link to a table of weapon stats is at the bottom of the page.  There are three different types of attacks, two of which can alter the attack power and AT rating. · Armor Class – determined by the armor you’re using.  In the same table as the weapons, linked below.  However, spellcasters take a penalty to cast spells if they’re wearing armor. · Attack/Parry (AT/PA) rating – The base for this is equal to AGI+INT+STR+COU.  Jak’s AT/PA base will be 8.  This base of +8 will be added to a roll of d20(20 sided die) on every attack Jak makes.  Practice with the weapon in question is also important, as it further improves this bonus.
Jak has a base AT/PA of 8, and 4 skill ranks with a dagger.  These skill ranks can be divided between attacking and parrying any way the player wishes.

Base AT/PA = 8/8
AT skill = 4
PA skill = 0 (assuming Jak’s as aggressive as many black mages are)
Weapon penalty = -1/-2 (for using a short range weapon like a dagger)
Armor penalty = 0/0 (light robes)
Final AT/PA = 11/6

I’m glad you asked.  Let’s delve into the skill system.  Any ability that can be improved through practice is given a skill rank.  Unlike most games, anything and everything can be a skill, and the skill system is completely open ended.  I’ll provide a list of example skills soon, and you can tell me if there’s anything that you believe should be added to it.

Every skill is assigned three base attributes – the attributes that come into play the most when using the skill.  The skill is also given a “rank”, which reflects how practiced the character is in it.  The rank can be increased as the character gains levels.  A skill can be increased by at most two ranks per level, unless otherwise noted in the example skill sheet.

A level 1 character is given a bank of 20+WIS*2+INT*2 points from which to assign ranks to skillsNo one skill is allowed a rank higher than 4 to start.  Here would be my selections for Jak, who will start with 32 points.  Skills with a [k] next to them indicate pure knowledge skills, such as geography, history, or magical theory.  They are purchased at half cost, and always have a base attribute of Wisdom.

Daggers – 4 <DEX/DEX/AGI>
Wand magic – 2 <WIS/INT/INT> (involves casting stored spells from magical items)
Aura reading – 2 <WIS/INT/INT>
Lightning Magic – 4 <MAG/WIS/INT>
Fire magic – 4 <MAG/WIS/INT>
Malediction magic – 3 (bad status effects) <MAG/WIS/INT>
[k]-Applied magical theory – 4 (cost 2)
Poison Alchemy – 3 <DEX/WIS/INT>
Enchanting – 3 (making normal weapons magical) <MAG/WIS/INT>
Intimidation – 2 <COU/CHA/INT>
Mental Magic – 2 <INT/INT/MAG>
Lockpicking – 1 <DEX/DEX/INT>
For every level gained, the character gets WIS+3 attempts to increase skills, with a minimum of 2/level.  New skills can also be learned in this manner – for example, Jak could potentially learn Benediction magic at rank 1 using one of his level increases.  Not that he would want to, considering his character...but it’s possible.

An increase attempt always succeeds if the new rank is less than the sum of the base attributes (that <DEX/DEX.INT> part).  If not, roll a 6 sided die, and if the number rolled is greater than the difference between the two numbers, the increase attempt succeeds. The GM (gamemaster) will handle such numbers in RPs.

Here’s how skill rolls work.  Whenever you want to use a skill you add the sum of the base attributes to the skill rank, and then add that to a roll of a 20-sided die.

So, if Jak wanted to cast Gifoi, a fire spell (fire magic is <MAG/WIS/INT>), he would add...
His fire magic rank: +4
His magic rating: +6
His wisdom rating: +5
His Intuition rating: +2
His armor penalty: 0 (since he’s wearing robes)
And a roll of d20: 18.
Total = 35.
If the total can beat the target’s magic resistance test, the spell hits.  Jak’s spell is likely to not only hit, but hit critically – his result is likely to beat the enemy’s by a huge margin.
Target is human: +10
Target’s courage*2: +4
Target’s Intuition: +2
Armor bonus: 0 (the target is not magically shielded)
Roll: 14
Total: 30.
Jak scores a hit with Gifoi, but not a critical one – he would have had to win by 4+<courage*2+intuition>, or 10.
Another example – Lockpicking.
Jak’s DEX rating*2 = +4
Jak’s INT rating = +2
Jak’s lockpicking rank = +1
Roll = 6
Total=13.  If 13 is higher than the rating (assigned by the gamemaster) of the lock that is being picked, the lock opens.

Hold on a second, before we do that, let me mention that all human targets get an automatic defense bonus because of their size.  Let’s do another Jak example.

Jak’s PA rating = 6
Jak’s size bonus (Medium)= +5
Jak’s defense rating = +11.
However, this defense rating is only good for the first attack the player recieves.  If the player takes a second attack, he loses his d20 skill roll to defend – making him a very easy target.  In Jak’s case, anyone with a skill above 11 would score an automatic hit, and most likely a critical.

WOOHOO!  L375 D00 B4773L!!!!!11111
All righty, let me do an example melee combat round between Gary and Ace, the ambiguously gay duo.

Gary – 70/70HP, 0/0 mana, AT/PA = 12/10, init = 5+2d6
Ace – 65/65HP, 30/30 mana, AT/PA = 10/6, init = 7+2d6
Jak – 65/65HP, 95/95 mana, AT/PA = 11/6, init= 5+2d6

1. Initiative is rolled.
        Gary – 15
        Ace – 14
        Jak - 13
2. Gary takes his action.
        --Gary thrusts at ace.
        Gary attacks!  (12+roll-7)=19!
        Ace defends! (6+5+roll-16)= 27!
3. Ace takes his action.
        --Ace attempts to chop Gary (5+roll-16)=21.
        --Gary defends. (10+5+roll-10)=25.
4. Jak’s turn now!  Woohoo!
        --Jak decides he doesn’t like Ace, and attempts to chop him (6+roll-19)=25!
        --Ace cannot defend. (6+5)=11.  Critical hit, 4x damage!
        --Jak does 13x4=52 damage!
        --Jak gains 104 experience for a decisive hit!

Needless to say, you shouldn’t let yourself get surrounded.  For storyline purposes, I recommend that critical hits take shape in the form of something resembling limit breaks.  I’m sure you can come up with some sort of cool looking effect with unnecessary amounts of description.  There are no hard, fast rules on what constitutes a critical hit in melee combat – Jak just got a high roll and beat Ace by a lot, so I considered it critical.

By the way, since Ace is now near death, he’s going to take some quite severe penalties to hit and parry (I suggest –6).

There could have easily been.  Magic works just like any other skill – sum the base attributes and skill rank, then roll the die. However, the gamemaster and the players should verify spell costs before the game begins – to make sure someone doesn’t attempt to ruin the game with overly powerful or overly cheap spells.  Even Skies of Arcadia was ruined by overpowered abilities (*cough Epsilon Mirror for infinite magic cough*).

Here are some sample spells and costs for Jak...I’ll be throwing around Phantasy star terminology a lot here.  I made these up on the fly – hopefully they’ll work.

  • Poison – 8MP  – If successful Does 5+rank+1d6 damage, and poisons on 50%.(req’d Malediction rank=1)
  • Foi – 4 MP  – A small fireball – does 6+rank+1d6 damage to one target. (req’d fire rank=1)
  • Gifoi – 12 MP – Fireball deluxe – does 10+rank*3+3d6 damage to a single target. (Fire = 4)
  • Gra – 10 MP – Luminous bolts of...stuff – does 5+rank*2+1d6 to targets within a 120 degree arc in front the caster. (Lightning=1)
  • Gigra – 33 MP – A heaping helping of raw voltage – does 15+rank*2+3d6 damage within the arc. (Lightning=4)
  • Slow – 7 MP – Self explanatory – reduces enemy initiative by 4, attack and defense by 2. (Malediction=3)
  • Combat Sense – 6 MP – Increases defense of caster by +3. (Mental=1)
  • Frenzy – 13 MP – Makes a friend go carazee – Increases power and accuracy, reduces defense by (rank). (Mental=2)
  • Enchant Weapon – 20-60 (20-rank*20) MP – Increase one of a weapon’s ratings (damage, AT bonus, speed) by (rank cast) for rank*2 hours.  (Enchanting=1)
  • And bear in mind, if you exceed your mana limit, you expose yourself to physical drain.  And physical drain is bad.

    Also, a character may have special abilities (like the techs in Chrono Trigger/Cross), but these should be verified with whoever’s running the game.  Hopefully, the gamemaster won’t be a complete asshole, and you can gain new ones with new levels.

    That’s all for now.  I’ll send the skills and equipment through as soon as I finish editing them.  Considering my track record, it’ll be around 2 weeks.  E-mail me if there’s something you want explained.  Better yet, AIM me – I’m DogshamanPhil, as some of you already know.

    Below are the weapons, armor, and skills tables.

    Weapons and Armor Table | Valthi Weapons and Armor | Example Skills Table

    Here's an explanation of the tables...Fair warning - most of these are just numbers, so if you don't care to look at large amounts of numbers in order to roleplay, the weapon list won't do you a lot of good.

    · Name - What to call the weapon.  Duh.  *puts an EmpressPhil DUH sticker on himself*

    · Special codes - See the bottom of the table.

    · **Damage bonus - This is a slight change from the old system - damage increases for Slashing and Chopping are now weapon-specific.  The number these damage bonuses are added to is dependent upon the type of attack made.

    Thrusting - added to strength+1d6(six sided die)
    Slashing - added to 2*strength+2d4(two four sided dice)
    Chopping - added to 3*strength+2d6(two six sided dice)
    Note that there are X's in some positions - this indicates that the player cannot use that type of attack with that weapon. · **Attack/Parry penalites - These are the numbers subtracted from the player's attack/parry values while using the weapon. · **Weight and Cost - I'm not going to worry about this until we start trying to run a realistic campaign, in which the characters are not members of royalty or experienced veterans.

    Same as weapons, except...

    · Armor Class (AC) - This is the amount of damage the armor blocks out.  The helmets and gauntlets guard against aimed shots to the head and arms, respectively.

    · Durability - I don't feel like messing with this right now, either.

    Shields give the defender an extra parry at full stregth per round, and body shields give two extra.  However, they severely impede the user's ability to guard and strike with their weapon.  Also, any damage exceeding the armor class is applied to the defender's shield arm.  If you try to block an ogre's club with a buckler, you'll only succeed in breaking your arm.


    Some of the skills are marked S - this means that they are supplimental skills, and cost half a skill point unless a number is included after them.  All other skills are bought 1:1.  Supplimental skills are generally used to indicate a degree of practice in a certain area beyond most others.  For example, some mages may be better at magical centering than their level can describe, so they are allowed to take extra ranks (again, up to four starting, and an additional two every level).

    All skills have three base attributes listed, except for supplimental skills.  Supplimental skills can only be taken if the player meets the prerequisites listed.  Again, all characters gain WIS+3 points/level.

    Example skill roll calculation - Dia has Fire magic rank 4 (MAG/INT/WIS)

    Total bonus = 16 (to be added to a d20 roll when casting).

    NOTE: All magic skills are MAG/INT/WIS.

    As always, if you think I should add something, or you think of something that isn't on the list, feel free to tell me.  This is by no means an all-inclusive list, and there's likely something I've missed.